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Information on pollution must be disclosed | Updated: 2013-07-22 19:25

A lack of compulsory institutional channels through which local governments must disclose information on environmental pollution means that authorities will always try to cover up the facts of pollution, said an article in People's Daily (excerpts below).

The Environmental Ministry has ordered that local governments must set up a special area on their official websites for the regular and timely disclosure of 31 kinds of environmental information covering eight main categories.

The compulsory disclosure of pollution information sends out a clear signal that dealing with environmental pollution is not only the responsibility of the environmental protection authorities, but also an undisputable duty for local governments.

Because of the lack of government supervision and the light punishments handed down, some polluting enterprises would rather pay the pollution fines, which are much cheaper than dealing with the pollution.

Since certain cities began disclosing daily data on air pollution, the public has become more aware of air quality. Different departments in various fields have started working together to deal with the issue. Such practices should also be applied to soil, water, noise and light pollution.

Meanwhile, the public has a right to know about the environment in which they live, and it is the government's responsibility to ensure a safe environment for the public, at the very least.

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